Olivier Demers, Fiddler, Le Vent du Nord

Take time for you and your family ...

After a decade on the road sharing their traditional Québécois folk sound, the quartet that is Le Vent du Nord continue to charm audiences more than 1000 concerts later. A trained violinist and guitarist, Olivier Demers (far left) channels his love for folk music into playing the fiddle, with vocals and foot-tapping beats also among his spirited on-stage antics. Le Vent du Nord will grace the Brisbane Powerhouse next Wednesday October 17, playing a repertoire of original music and traditional French songs, which bring together the Acadian blues, New Orleans-style brass and Francophone resistance of latest album Tromper le temps. The Weekend Edition caught up with Olivier in the lead up to his Brisbane visit to discover his perfect weekend.

How do you like to start your weekend?
For us, 80% of our weekends start with jumping in a van to go on tour (or to continue one!). It’s been like that for the last decade with our band Le Vent du Nord. This is a routine I like; of course, it would be also very nice to stay cocooning with my girlfriend in bed until 11:00 am.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Saturday morning?
Relax in bed, and then waking up in few hours. That’s not happening often because of our touring schedule. When I have the chance to do that, I feel very happy.

How do you like to unwind?
Really just being outside and enjoying the sun and taking time to fill up the machine with a little bit of nature. Life goes too fast sometimes and I often forget to relax.

What are your essentials for a well-spent weekend?
Be around my love and, if possible, my family, nieces or friends having big dinner around the table after cooking all day, followed by rest the next day. This is a pretty nice weekend for me.

What’s something you’ve been meaning to do on the weekend but haven’t got around to yet?
Doing some work that I have been meaning to do for a long time.

What’s your favourite thing to do on a Sunday evening?
Anything with my love because I’m not there a lot during the weekend.

What are you looking forward to next weekend?
Being on tour in Australia.

What are you reading at the moment?
Un très mauvais ami by Pierre Falardeau. These are letters from Pierre – one of our famous film directors and polemists in Québec, who died three years ago – to his best friend in Holland, from 1972 to 2009.

What inspires you?
Good music that I don’t already know of and music that I still adore listening to even after thousands of times. Music that references the sounds of nature, the actions of a big city and has intensity.

What was your childhood dream?
It has always been to be a musician. That was my dream and that’s what I’ve done for the last 16 years.

What has been your greatest achievement?
My band Le Vent du Nord – I’m very proud of it. We’ve worked so hard for the last 10 years and we’ve always felt the result of that hard work. A band is something really special – it combines both human and business elements and together. We’ve moved through the years like a married couple with give and take. It’s a good way to get a look at the small and bigger picture.

What is success to you?
Feeling that I’m where I have to be. As a musician, as a lover, as a human, as a person. I feel successful if my little inside voice is telling me I’m in the good balance in the respect of my personal and professional life.

What are your words of wisdom?
Take time for you and your family. Time is fleeting and we need to be conscious of the important people in our lives.

Perk up … in the woods
Relax … under the sun
Dine … at home
Indulge … in a good restaurant
Shop … a guitar shop
Catch-up … in bed
Be inspired … in my basement with all my instruments, just flirting with one and then the other


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